(I’ve been on a nostalgic bent the last few days on my gaming past and how it got me to playing a Druid in the World of Warcraft)
As I loaded the disks onto my brand new Dell desktop for my shiny new Everquest game back in the fall of 1999 I have to admit, it was pretty exciting. After being away from my geeky childhood of playing D&D for years it actually felt pretty good to be getting back into the world of Fantasy games. I had missed the imagination, the stories and the simple joy of running around wacking at monsters and trying to figure stuff out. I had the manual out and the cloth map that came in the box next to the keyboard. It was an actual cloth map…and it was just fantastic. After some checking online it looks like that thing is now a collectors item…I may have to see if I can dig that up somewhere.
When I first logged into the game it was more than I’d ever imagined. Here it was, the whole land of Dungeons and Dragons I’d imagined in my head years ago right in front of me. Stunning. EQ was pretty much the thing going on at the time where as today you’ve got your pick of any number of online multi-player games.
Thinking about it now I could go on for a while with memories from the very earliest days of Everquest. A few things that stick out very early on…
- When sitting down to regenerate mana you had to open your spell book and stare at it. So after a good long fight I’d run my first toon, a Shaman, back up to the ramp typically with a bunch of wolves and goblin whelps in tow. To regen mana I had to sit down and stare at the spell book….for a while.
- Corpse runs. Good God the corpse runs in EQ were legendary. If you played back then dying was a really big deal. Like huge. In WoW death is a minor inconvenience and about the worst that happens is a quick ghost trot and maybe some damage to your gear. Back in the early days of EQ when you died it could be an hour long journey (or more!) back to your corpse. And you did it naked. Nothing on, totally defenseless (unless you had the cash to have backup gear in a bank somewhere which simply didn’t happen early on) and there was nothing remotely like the griffin taxi in WoW. Also, there was no graveyard system where you could go and get rezzed in a pinch like in WoW. You were, naked, on foot and running, literally for your life.
The real kicker was ALL YOUR GEAR stayed with your corpse. Everything you had on just laid there waiting for you to return. As I recall there was a time limit was well…if you did not reclaim your corpse in a set number of days it disappeared…WITH ALL YOUR GEAR. Man you had to work really hard to get decent gear back then as well…really hard. Corpse runs were what turned Bolink into a Druid for the first time. In EQ as a Druid you could “bind” your spirit where you wanted and solve a lot of the corpse run issues.
I’ve got a few more to prattle on about I think I’ll save for tomorrows post…